Tag Archives: Selfish


via Daily Prompt: Tend

In the world around me the feedback loop is consistent: “I’m stressed, I’m frazzled, I’m bogged down in work, I can’t see a way through, I’m worried.” Anxiety, according to a multiplicity of studies across the western nations, is on the rise, and across age groups. I have friends who are afraid to take time off work for legitimate reasons lest they lose their job (which is unlikely), while other friends are reluctant to address work issues – they don’t want to rock the boat, they don’t want to risk their reputation, they don’t even stand up for themselves let alone other people. It’s almost like we’ve become servile, frightened people. In looking at it from a different perspective, people are overloaded and weighed down by work, responsibilities, and relationship difficulties.

Perhaps I sound simplistic, but my concern is that we don’t tend ourselves enough! Or, perhaps more accurately, we don’t tend to ourselves appropriately. We read about mindfulness, contemplative lifestyles, minimal living, self-care, but when do we actually put it into practice? My concern is that mindfulness is currently the most written about topic and yet is the least practiced way. Sure, we might go to yoga now and again, take the odd walk, meditate periodically, take the occasional break, but we are inconsistent, and lacking commitment to go the distance (which in fact equates to lack of commitment to self). And we suffer for it, we live in an imbalance.

Without mindfulness we are more vulnerable to the ills we read about, depression, anxiety, lack of self-worth and so on. Mindfulness is not a cure all, but if approached and lived in conjunction with healthy living and a balanced diet, then it is going to make a positive contribution to our overall health. Which is a reminder that there is no one way or silver bullet solution, we need a balanced life to survive.

Tending self is about taking breaks, going on holidays, exercising, spending quality time with family and friends, meditating, reflecting, and just getting down to being. Tending self is not about a singualr focus on the self, it is really a focus on relationships (which means a relationship with nature too) and health. Is it selfish to tend to self – well yes, but in a positive way. The word selfish has had some really bad press over the years, but to be selfish is to really look after oneself, not to exclusively self-indulge, but to care for oneself as one has need. If we are to flourish we need to nurture ourselves. Sometimes I think we need to be a little more selfish and tend to self, only then can we tend to others and the world.

A Senryu

Toast while driving
narrowly missing the turn
late for mindfulness






Filed under community, life, meditation, mindfulness, nature, Senryu, Spirituality

Funnel Of Love

via Daily Prompt: Funnel

I love C.S. Lewis (author of the Chronicles of Narnia, among many offerings). Lewis published “The Four Loves” in 1958, from a set of radio talks. I encountered the work in the 1980s, and was captivated by the idea that love is not singular.

In short, and by way of a summary, Lewis' the Four Loves are:
Storge (στοργη) - the empathy bond, the love that comes through familial or family love.
Philia (φιλια) - the love between friends, companionship.
Eros (ερως) - Being in love, desiring the one, rather than the many. Sexual love.
Agape (αγαπη) - Unconditional love, natural love, God love, community love.

But what Lewis arives at is that love is not selfish. We must love ourselves if we are to even begin to love others, but that is not selfish in a negative sense, it is positive in a healthy, integrating and mature sense. Self love is the begining of love.

Gary Chapman picks this up and progresses it with his wonderful work “The Five Love Languages”, which is now a major best seller. Chapman believes that we all have a primary love charism, or love language (Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service), and if we understand our love language we will understand those we are intimate with on any level much better.

Carl Jung said: “Where Love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking.” And Abraham Maslow ranked love as the third level of the hierarchy of needs.

The risk they all point to is obsessive love, posession of the other. And the risk of a negative, selfish love – it’s all about me!

But what captivates my desire, my imagination, my hope for the world, is that as we seek and engage all forms of love, that there is that one shred, that chink of light, the moment of possibility of community. That with all our flaws, with all our selfish ways, with all ME in the mix, community is possible and real. In that sense, in our most imperfect self, we’re still a funnel of, or for, love. For me that is hope for the world. Love is not singular!





Filed under community, life, Philosophy/Theology, Spirituality